1996 Rover - Austin 400 420si 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Lot of car for not a lot of money


Alternator bearings worn and also slip rings not a real problem cost app £80 to fix. Upon purchasing the car discovered the batteries were flat on key-fob that controls remote central locking. Turns out that if battery does go flat on these and is not replaced it decodes the fob which entails buying a new one and having it encoded to the car. this costs £120 so beware. In my case the dealer paid for it. Occasionally the radio and clock display digits "break up" can't figure out why.

General Comments:

This is the first Rover I've owned and wasnt really looking for one when I went buying. Must admit have been pleasantly surprised.

Performance is good and engine revs well will cruise all day at 70mph.Acceleration is fine and the 2.0 engine has plenty of power to get you out of any problems. As it's a Rover people just see the badge and are somewhat shocked (especially the baseball cap fraternity) when it out accelerates them at traffic lights.

Cabin interior is nice and comfortable although room in the back is a bit restricted.

Fuel economy isn't bad for a 2 litre engine although round town it returns sub 30 mpg. On long runs though you can with careful driving get 40mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2005

1996 Rover - Austin 400 2.0 SLi 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Low cost luxury


Radio display lost digits

Drivers seat wearing, slightly.

General Comments:

Great value for money. Not a lot of street credability with a Rover, but hey, its happy as larry travelling 200 miles a day up and down the M1.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2004

1996 Rover - Austin 400 414i 1.4i 16v from UK and Ireland


Nice, except the build quality!


When I got the car the radio / clock LCD display wasn't functioning correctly.

The driver's door handle fitting sheered about a month after I got the car, was around £100 to replace and fit.

Cam belt changed at 60,000 miles due to being unusually lose.

NSR bushes collapsed, £100 to replace (inc. fitting), I suspect the OSR is about to go too (slight knocking on larger pot holes noticed).

Near side rear passenger door doesn't always unlock fully.

Noticed this morning that the first two (of 4) heater fan setting aren't working. Wouldn't be a problem if 3 and 4 weren't so noisy.

Other than that lot just wear and tear: replaced front tyres, and new exhaust (not the cat. fortunately), couple of new windscreen wipers, one side light and headlight.

General Comments:

At first I was very pleased with the car, there were a few things wrong with it, but nothing major.

The electric sunroof is very nice to have (is standard), especially on this model which doesn't have air con.

Performance is pretty good for a 1.4, it'll outrun a friends 1.6 16v Escort any day. Need to get the revs above 4k to get the power though.

The engine is a bit too noisy at 75 - 80, and seems to be getting increasingly noisy at normal running speeds.

It is very comfortable to drive, but suffers a lot from under steer and body roll when pushed; the seats could do with being a bit more supportive.

Too many things have gone wrong with the car for me to give it praise though. The list above is all in the 10 months that I've owned the car.

I also suspect that the clutch is on its way out as the biting point is rather high.

The brakes have always squealed a bit when doing just over 40, but until recently this stopped when braking. Now the brakes go through phases of squealing constantly, even at motorway speeds which is near unbearable for any length of time.

The standard radio is awful, though the speakers are up to the job. A new head unit sorts that problem.

Note if fitting a Sony head unit the addition of the adapter wires create problems fitting it in the space. The wires in mine now run though the heating channels (which are accessible from being the radio) that supply the vents above the radio.

I've fitted a towbar and mud flaps, both of which were relatively easy with a Haynes manual to clarify the instructions provided.

Overall a good car, just let down by the build quality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2004

19th Dec 2004, 08:47

Did you get the heater blower sorted - I have got exactly the same problem 3 & 4 only.


16th Apr 2012, 11:06

I had the misfortune to own a Rover from 2002 to 2005. To put it mildly, the car was a heap of rubbish. There literally wasn't a couple of weeks that went by without some problem occurring in it.

In the end, it packed up on me 200 miles from home the day after I had been to a wedding. The head gasket (what else!!) had blown and that was the end of that. It was straight to a Japanese car after that, and I haven't looked back since.

It taught me a costly lesson - Do your research before you purchase!